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Abia Tribunal: Court upholds Onwusibe’s election, dismisses APC, PDP candidates’ petitions

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The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia,Abia State, has dismissed a petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Anthony Agbazuere, against the member representing Isiala Ngwa North and South Federal Constituency, Chief Ginger Onwusibe, of the Labour Party, LP.

The tribunal also dismissed another petition filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress,APC, Chijoke Ikpo, against Onwusibe.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Onwusibe the winner of the February 25, election in the constituency after polling a total of 20,411 votes to defeat Agbazuere who scored 13,508 votes and the APC candidate who polled 2,976 votes.

Agbazuere and Ikpo had asked the Court to disqualify Onwusibe, over alleged non compliance with the electoral act and alleged irregularities during the poll.

Agbazuere had prayed the tribunal to disqualify the respondent for not resigning officially from the PDP before joining the LP.

He also told the Court that INEC was not given any notice 30 days before the party congress, where the respondent emerged as the LP candidate for the election.

Counsel to Onwusibe, Mr Okite l. Okite, told the court that the matter the petitioners brought to the tribunal were pre- election matters that had already been decided in the favour of his client in the Supreme Court.

Delivering judgement, the tribunal led by Justice Hajaratu Hajjo Lawal, ruled that it lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter on the allegations of non compliance with the electoral act against the respondent, which had been decided by supreme Court as a pre election matter.

The tribunal also held that the allegations of irregularities in 3 wards if the federal Constituency were not proven beyond reasonable doubt to have affected the outcome of the election result.

The tribunal struck out the two petitions for lacking in merit and declared the respondent as duly elected.

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